Now that Haussner's is closing, everyone wants to eat there one last time. "We tried to go to Haussner's for lunch," one person told me, "but the line was part way down Eastern Avenue. In the rain!"
But Haussner's isn't the only Baltimore institution we may be losing. Alfred Braznell, owner of Braznell's Caribbean Kitchen, says his restaurant is for sale. Located at 1623 E. Baltimore St., it was one of the first, if not the first, sit-down Caribbean restaurants in the city. Who knows? The new owner or owners may keep it exactly as it is. But just to be safe, you might want to go for one last helping of roti or island curry.
New Restaurant 1899
Looking for a bit of history with your beurre blanc? Lou Bivona and Rob Skudrna, owners of Simply Elegant Catering, have opened Restaurant 1899 at the Westminster Inn at 5 S. Centre St. in Westminster. (The Victorian structure was built as a schoolhouse in 1899.)
Patrick Dobbs, who worked at Rudys' 2900 and Caves Valley Country Club before taking over the inn's kitchen, is turning out specialties like herb-crusted grouper with white corn couscous, pickled red onion and lemon verbena and grilled lamb loin with latkes, spinach and spiced cherries. Entrees run from $18 to $25.
Restaurant 1899 is open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and Tuesday through Sunday for dinner.
New chef at Hamilton's
Hamilton's, the restaurant in the Admiral Fell Inn in Fells Point, reopened last week after a month and a half of renovations. Running the kitchen now is Jeffrey Crise, formerly at the dining room of the Sheraton Columbia Inn and before that at Hunter's Lodge in Ellicott City.
Look for a new "American fusion" menu with signature dishes like coffee-barbecued Carolina squab with chestnut spoonbread and tandoori salmon with turnip greens, jasmine rice and red chili beurre blanc. Entrees are priced from $12 to $27.
Hamilton's is open every day for dinner only.
The best servers
Service in restaurants seems to be getting worse, judging from what I hear from readers, so it's good to know that there are still some great waiters and waitresses around. Finalists in the 10th Annual Service Classic, sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, had to serve a three-course dinner last week in the final leg of the competition. These four were recognized as the best:
First place in fine dining, Nick Schneider of the Polo Grill in Baltimore
Second place, Marie Nichols of Kings Contrivance in Columbia
First place in casual, Johnny Schell of 44 North in Frederick
Second place, Danielle Waters of Crab Shanty in Ellicott City
Last Thursday I mentioned in passing the closing several years ago of the Village Roost, the coffee shop of the old Cross Keys Inn. For the record, that's not Crossroads, the restaurant in the Radisson at Cross Keys. Crossroads is open and plans to stay open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; fax to 410-752-6049; or e-mail to email@example.com.
Pub Date: 09/23/99